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greenBlue Scott's Run Nature Preserve - Outer Loop

  3.9 ( 11 ) Favorite


3.2 mile 5.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 348' 106 m
Descent: -319' -97 m
High: 315' 96 m
Low: 66' 20 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Trail shared by Chris Kroehler

A nice and easy loop around the nature preserve.

Chris Kroehler

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall


Tucked in a corner between 495 and Georgetown Pike is Scott's Run Nature Preserve. It has many trails and many more (and confusing) connector trails. This hike takes you from the main parking lot up to the Scott's Run Waterfall, along the Potomac River and past the secondary parking lot before returning to your car.

Need to Know

The named trails all have colored blazed while the connectors (of which there are many) do not. Fortunately the are numerous trail maps which can help you get your bearings. Or just bring your phone and the Hiking Project mobile app.


Beginning at the main parking area follow the Potomac Heritage Trail - Scott's Run north. This is a wide, easy path with two creek crossings. Both have stepping stones as the water is almost always high enough to require them.

After finding the Scott's Run Waterfall, you'll turn east along the Potomac River. This trail is has a lot more roots and rocks so watch your footing. Slowing down may be required in some areas.

Before the Potomac Heritage Trail - Scott's Run dumps you out into a neighborhood; you'll need to take a connector trail to the right which bring you to the Oak Trail. There will be a trail map at the intersection if you're confused. Follow the Oak Trail until turning right on the Stubblefield Falls Overlook Trail. This trail brings you down to the smaller parking lot where you'll turn right again and follow the Parking Lot Connector Trail back to your car.

The interior of the Preserve has some nice views and nicely maintained trails. Bring the Hiking Project mobile app and explore it.

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Apr 20, 2019
Christina Lotspike
Apr 6, 2019
Jenee' Saunders
Mar 24, 2019
Andres Cottin
used connector trail for last section 3mi — 1h 11m
Mar 23, 2019
Brad Wilson
Mar 16, 2019
Ethan B
Good hike. Nice views and weather. Will probably do again or do it as a trail run. 3.5mi
Jan 1, 2019
Brian Knight
Suuuuuuper muddy and slippery this morning. Got to the Swinks Mill trailhead lot just before 8am and was one of the first cars there! Was jammed later 3mi
Nov 28, 2018
Kristina Gilday
Nov 17, 2018
Kayla Austin

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 11 votes


  3.9 from 11 votes
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in Virginia


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